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Fourth Sensation: Musiche di Massimo Catalano (1970) Ricordi International (Reissue 2017 Cinedelic Records) performed by Ellade Bandini, Ares Tavolazzi, Vince Tempera, and Angelo Vaggi
In 1970, Massimo “Max” Catalano, composed the original music for Fourth Sensation: Musiche di Massimo Catalano, an album released on the small Italian label Ricordi International. The LP, a mix of acid blues, Italian funk, progressive rock, and soul jazz, was the one and only album by Fourth Sensation, performed by a psychedelic rock group featuring Ellade Bandini on drums, Ares Tavolazzi on guitar, Vince Tempera on Hammond organ, and Angelo Vaggi on bass.
Each of the instrumental cuts on the eponymous LP is named after a woman: “Julia,” “Clarissa,” “Vanessa,” “Petula,” and “Elena” on one side one, and “Lisa,” “Diana,” “Marta,” “Cinzia,” and “Georgia” on side two.
Although Massimo Catalano is the only composer or musician mentioned by name on either the album cover or the record labels, Federico Monti Arduini, Sandro Brugnolini, Giuliano Sorgini, and Stefano Torossi also contributed to the ten compositions. This is according to the S.A.I.E., the official database for all songs published in Italy.
“Vanessa,” the third track by Fourth Sensation, is on YouTube:
The band, depicted on the back cover, was formed by guitarist Ares Tavolazzi, a noted session musician as well as a major figure in the jazz world who accompanied players like Stefano Bollani, Franco D’Andrea, Gil Evans, Lee Konitz, Steve Lacy, Enrico Rava, Max Roach, and Phil Woods, to name a few.
Three of the members of Fourth Sensation, Tavolazzi, drummer Ellade Bandini, and keyboardist-organ player Vince Tempera, were already in one band together: The Pleasure Machine. The pop group, active in Italy from around 1969 to 1972, added a fourth musician in 1970, bassist Angelo Vaggi, to represent the “fourth sensation.”
Angelo Vaggi later became a well known producer, while Vince Tempera went on to form the progressive supergroup Il Volo, with Mario Lavezzi and Alberto Radius.
Fourth Sensation’s “Elena,” a hard rock-funk standout that contains the only vocal on the album on the count-in, is on SoundCloud:
Four Sensation composer Massimo “Max” Catalano, also a noted jazz trumpeter, was a founding member of The Flippers in the 1960s. The Italian pop band also included bassist Stefano Torossi.
The shot above from the early 1960s sleeve of an RCA 45 includes drummer Fabrizio Zampa, Max Catalano, Stefano Torossi, pianist Franco Bracardi, and vibraphonist Romolo Forlai. Catalano and Torossi would go on to make several albums together. They also appeared on numerous compilations and several soundtracks.
Fourth Sensation’s “Marta” showcases bass player Angelo Vaggi, along with Ellade Bandini on drums, Ares Tavolazzi on guitar, and Vince Tempera on Hammond organ:
For many years, it has been difficult or near-impossible to locate a copy of the album. A few have come and gone at sites specializing in library and soundtrack music, including one at www.funkabolik.com.
The rare original copies on offer at music marketplaces such as Discogs will usually run into four figures. For example, currently four copies are available, the cost $2500 to $3500 U.S.
In 2017, Cinedelic Records reissued the album in vinyl, the first time it has been in print since the initial, limited pressing more than four decades earlier. To date, the album has neither been issued as a CD nor as a download.
An audio file of the Fourth Sensation’s “Georgia,” the final cut on Fourth Sensation, is here:
More from the Musicians and Composers of Fourth Sensation
Besides recording a number of singles and albums together as members of The Flippers in the 1960s, Massimo “Max” Catalano and Stefano Torossi collaborated on several additional full length albums and compilations including Musica per commenti sonori (CO 10006) on Italy’s Costanza Records in 1971, with Sandro Brugnolini, Giancarlo Gazzani, and Giovanni Tommaso, and Musica per commenti sonori: Life Is A Trumpet in 1987 (reissued by Fonit Cetra in 1989 under the title Jazz as part of their Strumentali series).
In 2001 Massimo Catalano, Guido Cenciarelli, and Stefano Torossi’s “Tragicomic”and “Procession” appeared on the BMG productiom music CD Neo-Realism: Italian Post-War Cinema and their “Thrills And Spills” was used on the soundtrack of the HBO comedy Curb Your Enthusiasm, including on the accompanying CD release by the UK’s Mellowdrama Records in 2006.
Deneb Records, a label belonging to Italy’s Flippermusic, released Massimo Catalano and Stefano Torossi’s Dark City as a digital download in 2011. Catalano and Torossi’s compositions have also been used in multiple digital-only reissue compilations from ExtraBall Records between 2013 and 2014, including Police Department: Music for Chases to the Death.
Massimo Catalano, Antonio Sechi, and Stefano Torossi’s “Chili Trumpet”
“Chili Trumpet,” a Latin-influenced composition by Massimo Catalano, Antonio Sechi, and Stefano Torossi first appeared on their Musica per commenti sonori: Life Is A Trumpet for Costanza Records in 1987 and then was reissued on Strumentali: Jazz in 1989.
One or both versions of this vinyl-only LP are often available at major online auction sites as well as other stores carrying library music and soundtracks.
Massimo Catalano, Antonio Sechi, and Stefano Torossi’s “Chili Trumpet” is on YouTube:
Massimo Catalano and Alessandro Alessandroni’s “Capelli rossi”
A couple of months back, “Capelli rossi,” a track by Massimo Catalano and Alessandro Alessandroni from Open Air Parade, a 1972 LP by Alessandroni and Giovanni Tommaso on Italy’s SR Records was posted online by The Armagideon Times.
Unconfirmed rumors indicate this album will be reissued in the near future.
Alessandro Alessandroni and Massimo Catalano’s “Capelli rossi” is here:
The Pleasure Machine’s “Express” and “Asia”
In March 1970, Vince Tempera and La Macchina Del Piacere, featuring Ellade Bandini, Arez Tavolazzi, and Vince Tempera, was recorded at Durium Studios in Milano.
The same year, Ellade Bandini, Ares Tavolazzi, and Vince Tempera released “Express,” a 45 single composed by Tempera and released by The Pleasure Machine on Columbia Records.
The Pleasure Machine’s “Express” is online:
And something special, a 1971 video for The Pleasure Machine’s “Asia” 45 single featuring Ellade Bandini, Ares Tavolazzi, and Vince Tempera that is now available on YouTube:
Luigi Malatesta and Sandro Brugnolini’s “Laguna fosforescente”
Some of Sandro Brugnolini’s finest work has been recently reissued in CD, vinyl, and as digital download formats, including his amazing Underground and Overground albums, both released in 1970, the Modern Jazz Gang’s Miles Before And After from 1960, the Gli Arcangeli soundtrack from 1962, and the 24-track Modern Jazz Gang collection, The Milestrane 1959-1964 Vol. 1.
A rare LP library music soundtrack Brugnolini composed with Luigi Malatesta for a small private press, EMR-06 also emerged on the collector’s scene a few months ago.
Sandro Brugnolini and Luigi Malatesta’s “Laguna fosforescente” has been uploaded to the Internet by Omi Cron:
Giuliano Sorgini’s “Discontinuo”
In 1971, composer Giuliano Sorgini released Percussioni in Crescendo on Italy’s Leo Records. The Holy Grail library music record is just one of several highly sought after original albums Sorigini made under his own name and the alias Raskovich.
In 1989, Stefano Torossi was credited with producing Strumentali: Sentimenti per grande orchestra on Fonit Cetra’s Nuovo Repertorio Editoriale label.
A closer look at Strumentali: Sentimenti per grande orchestra that includes an overview of Giuliano Sorgini’s exceptional career in music is found at the top of the page under “ALBUMS.”
Giuliano Sorgini’s “Discontinuo” is on YouTube:
Federico Monti Arduini’s “Amor grande, amor libre”
According to Discogs, composer-singer Federico Monti Arduini entered the music business in 1958, working as an A&R director at Belldisc Italiana, general manager at Telstar Music, and then joining Ricordi’s publishing division in 1968.
Federico Monti Arduini’s “Amor grande, amor libre” is here:
Online Torossi Audio Compilation Covers Music from 1970
A selection of ten compositions from 1970 includes two with Stefano Torossi and Giovanni Tommaso from their 1970 Echoing America LP on SR Records–and reissued in 2012 by Cometa Edizioni Musicali and a pair from Fourth Sensation on Ricordi International in 1970–and reissued in 2017 by Cinedelic Records
The online sampler also features five cuts from the 1970 eponymous I Marc 4 LP on Nelson Records (GLP 1005), using Torossi’s Fotriafa alias, and one from a Musiche per commento compilation from Record TV Discografica:
Fourth Sensation from Discogs
Fourth Sensation from italianprog.com
The Pleasure Machine from Wikipedia (Italian)
NOTE: This profile of Fourth Sensation: Musiche di Massimo Catalano was first published 8 December 2014. This version updates some of the original content.